Cameroon’s Former Prime Minister Arrested for Embezzlement

The arrest took place on Monday 16 April 2012 in Yaoundé, Capital of Cameroon. Both are being detained in security cells in Yaoundé.

The two have been accused and implicated in shady financial transactions in relation to the purchase in 2003 of a faulty presidential plane, named Albatross, for Cameroon. That incident has since been popularly known as operation Albatros.

The plane developed a technical fault at its inaugural flight in 2004 and almost crashed with the presidential couple, Mr. Biya and wife Chantal Biya on board.

Upon investigations, it emerged that a good portion of the budget for the purchasing of a new plane was embezzled and instead a second-hand plane that was bought which not only was second hand but turned out to be faulty and therefore placed the lives of the president and his family in danger.

Chief Inoni was then assistant Secretary-General at the Presidency before later becoming Prime Minister while Marafa Hamidou Yaya was the Secretary-General at the Presidency. Both men were said to be actors in the purchase transaction.

Another politician, Mr. Atangana Mebera, who succeeded Marafa as Secretary-General had since 2008 been in pre-trial detention still in connection with the Albatross affair. The arrests are within the frame work of President Paul Biya’s on-going war against corruption and embezzlement of public funds. Mr. Biya‘s war against embezzlement, dubbed ‘Operation Sparrow hawk’ has sent several senior officials of the his regime to prison.